German government funding "Digital Twins" project

Urban Development

EUR 32 million for cross-city project with Munich and Leipzig - interactive 3D model of Hamburg planned

The cities of Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich are set to receive around EUR 32 million in funds for the "Connected Urban Twins - Urban Data Platforms and Digital Twins for Integrated Urban Development" (CUT) projects from the German government. The funds will go towards the "Smart Cities Model Projects" from 2021-2025. The City of Hamburg is managing the overall project.

Digital twin: digital image of the city

The development of interconnected urban twins or so-called digital twins based on urban data platforms is central to the project. Digital twins are digital images of objects e.g. buildings, streets and water or process chains such as administrative procedures, citizen participation or traffic control. They are constructed from data and algorithms and can be connected to the real world via sensors. "A digital city is based on data that can be used to develop and implement new digital processes. A digital image of Hamburg provides an excellent basis for politics, administration, companies and developers," said Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg. The use of digital twins holds huge potential e.g. for managing transport and logistics. The project will focus on innovative use cases in urban development and ways of participating to deepen and improve the integrative demands of urban development plans.

Urban data platforms and interactive 3D model of city

The idea of a "digital twin" already exists in an industrial context. The urban version will take the shape of a virtual, interactive 3D city model and a collaborative urban data platform. Residents can use the data to help make improved and rethought decisions faster. Based on the comprehensive infrastructures and experience in Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich, the project will develop the respective urban data platforms and digital twins as core technological elements.

The "Smart Cities Model Project" allows the German government to help local authorities to shape digitalisation in terms of integrated sustainable urban development. The aim is to develop and test cross-sectoral digital strategies for urban life in future.

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